The following was submitted by Kevin Lentini:
North Reading residents Kyle Lentini and Kevin Moyette helped the Pingree football team finish a very successful season against strong New England Class C programs, including post grad schools New Hampton, Holderness, Tilton, Vermont Academy and Proctor, to qualify for the prestigious Dan Rorke Bowl, played at Loomis Chaffee’s Pratt Field in Windsor, Connecticut Saturday November 19.
Lentini, a 6’5” tight end and Moyette a 6’1” linebacker saw significant playing time all season, especially when it counted in the bowl game versus Rye Country Day School from New York.
Rye had unbelievable team speed and an outstanding offense, averaging more than 40 points per game and for most of the first half it looked as though Rye was going to roll over Pingree, scoring three TD’s with three PAT’s to Pingree’s two TD’s and no PAT’s. But with 19 seconds left in the first half, on third-and-12, QB Jerome Cappadona (Lynnfield) connected with his tight end Lentini on a 45-yard scoring play as time expired. Lentini made a great catch and lowered his shoulder through two defenders then dove and reached out breaking the plane to the end zone for the score which was a great pick-me-up for Pingree and turning point in the game. Pingree went for two and converted, making the score 21-20 at halftime.
Pingree played with new life in the second half, hung tough persevering through three second half turnovers and yet another Rye TD. Playing against the clock Pingree finally put together a scoring drive, set up by a long pass from Capadonna to Louis Rodriguez (Lawrence) and with less than two minutes left Nick Antenucci (Saugus) scampered in on a 17 yard run. Pingree decided to go for all the marbles, but failed on the two point conversion run, losing a heartbreaker, 27 – 26.
Pingree had won its past two NEPSAC Bowl games, the past two consecutive years, but came up short Saturday as the Highlanders finished 7-2 overall and Rye completed a perfect 10-0 season.
Lentini led all receivers with three catches for 76 yards and a touchdown. Moyette was in on several tackles and was a force on the interior defense. On a side note, team manager, Tim Chaloux (North Reading) handled the video duties all year, which were vital to the team’s success.